Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happy 21st Anniversary! With Dancing, Origami, And Dancing Origami...

Celebrating 21 years!
Is it worth celebrating? 
 Yep, today marks 21 years for us.   Not bad for two young people with no clue.  Cheryl has been concerned that we would forget this year.   If we had only been strong enough to insist on July 7,  we would be in a better position to recall the date.  But, alas, there can be only one date.

21 is not really a big deal.  Compared to 20... or 70!  (which is the goal ultimately)  By that time, we might not even recognize each other though.   I'm already suffering from mental fatigue and forgetfulness.
Racing the sun.   

Crop Dusters out and about. 
But before that day comes,  here is what we have been up to.   (Part of the blogs purpose is to help me remember.)  It has been hot and humid.   But Cheryl insists on running anyway.   Yesterday we ran 18 miles.    Yes, it was VERY hot and she had to walk part of the distance.   We planned on getting up early to combat the high heat, but it was simply not enough.   As the sun rose, so did the heat, humidity and bugs!  But we managed to soldier through.

Racing the plane?
The Crop Dusters were out again.  I'm guessing they were fertilizing the soybeans one last time before fall. Cheryl wanted to race the plane,  but the plane is so much faster than the trains of Davenport.

No more Tree barrier
Looks like they pushed it off. 

They also  cleared the fallen tree off the trail.  Cheryl did not have to climb over it this time.

Only 20% chance...they said.
Sudden Rain storm in Iowa
They told us a couple days ago, that the chance of rain was almost nil.   Guess again!   While out by Muscatine,  we got hit by a freak rain squall!  Almost zero visibility,   20 degree drop in temp. And lots and lots of rain.    And then.....

Boom!  Nothing.   Around our house,  totally dry.   It is unfortunate we could not enjoy the cooler temps for very long.   The heat climbed back up to 90 in no time.

Origami Dancers
Chili Dog!

Since Money is always tight,  we chose to keep our Anniversary celebration small,   choosing only one rock band and inviting only 300 people.  Our party was thrown at Tee's,   because their Chili Dogs are awesome!  And they enjoy my Origami displays.   We also had our usual  sundaes.   No sense in holding back too much.  We'll just have to run extra long tomorrow.... if the weather holds out that is.

   Hope everyone is having a great week so far.   I also have a goal to post one of my books online.   Cheryl told me I should self publish the thing and be done with it.

Are cats good at editing?
 I re-read it and fixed the numerous spelling and grammatical errors that I could find. ( At least I hope I fixed them.  I'm probably not the best editor out there...but I'm free!  And that price is the best I can afford at the moment.)

It seems their fur gets in the way. 
  I also have to work on the title and book cover.  Cheryl has graciously offered her services there.  Since her price is similar to mine,  I can hardly turn it down.  Let's just hope we both get more than what we are paying for.  I would probably even accept the help of the cat!  However,  cats are not very good spellers, having limited vocabulary, and can not type with those dinky paws. He likes to spell AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA a lot.  ( not very helpful.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Totally Awesome Stag Beetle. ( Non-Origami)

Doesn't he look friendly?
Usually, with a title like that,  you might think I would post pictures of some Origami I had been working on.  Well, not today.

What happens when I try to pet him?
Yesterday,  on one of Cheryl's runs, we discovered a stag beetle.   I know I have an old post somewhere on this blog about Michigan stag beetles.   But here in Iowa,  they have a more fearsome look to them.  Actually, they look more like the Stag beetles that one might think of when watching Animal Planet.
He didn't like that very much.
Tree time.

Check out the mandibles on this guy!   And this is not even one of the biggest we have seen here.

In addition to being scary and red,  he is also very strong!   I tried to pick him up off the sidewalk and place him on a tree.  It was as if he was glued to the concrete!   I have heard that Goliath beetles are one of the strongest insects by size.   I'm not sure how they compare to fleas or ants, but I have seen them hang on to bricks while people picked them up.   Impressive for such a "small" creature.
I can see the resemblance.

And origami Frog at Tee's
And where does the name come from?   Stag is a deer, after all.   And the mandibles are thought to look like antlers.  ( Just my geeky trivia coming out.)

And a Wolf...
Couple of dragon flies.
I mentioned origami.    After the encounter, Cheryl and I stopped off at Tee's Diner and had our celebratory Sundae and Banana split.
Ok, I might have gotten carried away....
A few more things. 

Sundae time.
Maybe I should eat instead of fold..
While we  waited, I folded up a few things.   I guess I have become a celebrity (if only in my own mind)   The staff at Tee's seems to enjoy the creations and look forward to our coming every Saturday.   Hopefully I will continue to have new models to show off.  (My own mental library can quickly get exhausted.)

Lazy rabbit.

Talk  about relaxed.

So that is that.   It is ridiculously hot today.   Humid,  sunny,   terrible! Even the Rabbits are taking a break from the heat by camping out in the cool part of the driveway.

Long run....sometime this week.
Made possibly better with water.  Lots of water!

Cheryl's run was simply a token run as she prepares for her long run this week.   It is supposed to be hot every day this  week.   We shall see how things work out.   This time, we will bring water, Popsicles,  and maybe even a water theme park!  ( Only if we run in Muscatine.)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Climbing Trees on a Run.

The last couple of days have been pleasant,  considering the summer so far.  In fact, it almost felt like fall this morning.   Tomorrow may be another story, but for the moment, we are enjoying the weather here in Iowa.

Something is blocking the trail....
Unless the sun comes out mid-day.   Cheryl's long run started fine, but we timed the start a little later than planned.   As a result,  the noon sun came out of hiding and began to wither everything.   Including Cheryl.   She made most of the 16 miles run without walking,  but the heat did manage to spoil things.  If only that cloud cover could have persisted...
Looks like the old cottonwood is fallen...
So much for Hurdles...
In addition to that,  we discovered one of the large cottonwood trees had fallen across the path.  Slightly larger than something we would be able to move ourselves.  The only choice...  Climb over!

Cheryl leaves me & my bike behind.
Cheryl may be "pretty good" at running.   But climbing is not her Forte.  If only you could have seen her on the rocks of Duluth or Grand Haven.

She will never go to the Olympics with that form.
Still,  we managed to get over the thing.  Even with my bike.   And there is no picture of me because I had the camera.   And I look like a Gorilla.  ( at least Gorillas can climb.)

So we managed to sell 5 stockings this week.  We just finished them a few moments ago and will probably mail them later today.  I'm impressed we have sold anything in July.   It makes me consider cleaning up the machines and getting them ready for full production.  Then again, it still may be a little optimistic for that at this time.
Something to look forward to tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a great Weekend.   We are planning on Muscatine tomorrow,   despite the hot weather that is predicted.  At least they have a water fountain to clean,  I mean,  cool Cheryl off.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Black Berries, Wild Flowers, and Origami.

Only three miles today?
Too Hot to run?
It has been a rather hot week this week.   Weather-wise, not eventful-wise.   The heat and humidity have been getting to Cheryl in that she does not like running so much.   Who would want to run in heavy sauna-like air?

You said there are Berries???
Black berries...
But on the bright side,  we have found something that motivates us to get out and experience the "Great Outdoors!" Black berries!

What will we do with all these? 
Yes, the black berries are in full swing.  In fact, we may have missed them by a few days, and are cleaning up the ones left over from the local birds and animals.

This looks good!

 We have visited them twice now, each time picking a 42 ouch cup-sized amount.   They are awesome on  cinnamon bread and cream cheese.   Also in yogurt and oatmeal.

Sweet peas
Daisies and "other" flowers.

In addition to the berries,  the summer flowers are dominating the landscape.   Mostly daisies of some form or another.  But every now and then you find a field with Clover, Sweet Peas, Milkweed and other purple flowers.  It makes for pleasant scenery while sweating like a pig out in the heat.
The fields look yellow!
Purple splash breaks up the colors.
As I write this.  The skies have darkened and it looks like more rain is on the way.   It has rained every day this week.  Mostly at night, but it sprinkled a touch this morning.
 Despite that,  the temps have held on the high side and the dampness only adds to the humidity.   I don't mind a little rain. Or even a thunderstorm.  But any tornado or hail can keep far away.  Don't get me wrong... I find those phenomena fascinating....but knowing my current luck,  we would find the "bad side" of the storm.
My Origami "Pile"
Running out of room here....
Origami Oriental Dragon.
So to occupy my time while under house arrest (from the heat) I have been playing with Origami...again.   I don't know why I bother.   The stuff simply piles up.   Cheryl says I should re-open the Etsy shop and try to sell some of it.  But unfortunately,  it ends up sitting in the same place for months while folks look, but don't buy.
Cheryl runs to the Sun.
Usually sales are better during the holidays.  But still, ot is a fun skill to keep in practice with.   Just like Cheryl's running.

Oh.  Getting really dark now.  Better post this before the electricity goes out.   Hope everyone is having a good week so far... and thanks for stopping in.


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